Sunday, August 29, 2010

Dinosaur egg cookies

My hubby and I had a lot of fun making these! Figuring out how to roll the chocolate dough around the matcha dough without it breaking or sticking too much was a fun challenge :-) The end result was cute to look at and deliciously buttery to eat. Should you try this recipe, I hope you'll get as much enjoyment from making them as we did!

Ingredients for chocolate dough:
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour (I used potato starch)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 226g butter
  • 200ml agave syrup
  • 1 egg

Ingredients for matcha dough:
  • 2 & 1/4 cups gluten-free flour (I used potato starch)
  • 1 - 2 tsp matcha (green tea) powder
  • 226g butter
  • 200ml agave syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Method for the matcha dough:
  1. Beat butter and agave syrup together.
  2. Add the vanilla, flour and matcha powder; using the dough hooks on an electric mixer to mix till just incorporated (i.e. the dough sticks together).
  3. Refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
  4. Use your hands and some cling wrap to roll the dough lightly into long, thick "worms"; forming the inside of the dinosaur egg.
  5. Refrigerate again till the chocolate dough is ready.

Method for the chocolate dough:
  1. Beat butter and agave syrup together.
  2. Beat in the egg.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and flour; using the dough hooks on an electric mixer to mix till just incorporated (i.e. the dough sticks together).
  4. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
  5. Roll the dough out between two pieces of baking paper till it is just long/wide enough to be shaped and closed around the green matcha dough "worms".
  6. Wrap in cling wrap tightly to "round-off' the shape, and refrigerate for another hour.

Method for baking:

  1. Slice off 1.5 cm pieces of the finished dough "worms", laying them out on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  2. Bake for 15 - 16 mins at 175 - 180 degree celsius on the middle rung of the oven.
  3. Bon appetit!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Falafel to you too!

In my pre-coeliac diagnosis varsity days, one of my (now) hubby's and mine's fave (read: tasty and affordable) dates was chowing down on massive, hand-held falafels from a franchise here in SA called Anat's Falafel & Shwarma.

Since that's no longer an option, I was crazy-mad delighted to come across Orgran's Falafel Mix, which is not only gluten-free but corn-free too. I practically skipped home (well, in my heart anyway since I was driving) with joy, knowing that there was a tub of Woolies hummus sitting in our fridge - and we all know hummus goes together with falafel balls like bread to butter, right?

So, the magic falafel powder gets mixed with water.

Then I ignored the instructions on the box about 2cm of oil, and instead used a drizzle of olive oil on my non-stick pan (yes, there's that pan again); forming the falafel mix into approximations of patties. These took max. 2 mins on
each side (so almost instant gratification).

Rice cakes were liberally schmeered with hummus and
cucumber slices, before being topped by
falafel patties for my hubby.

And pour moi, funny sausage-shaped falafels using
lettuce leaves as wraps.

I don't often feature pre-made gluten-free mixes on my blog, as I'm a do-it-from-scratch-when-baking/making kinda gal, but this one really is worth trying to get your hands on!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Scotch pancakes with a twist

After walking past it for weeks, I finally bought myself a non-stick pancake pan the other day. Good thing too since two days later, they were gone off the shelf.

Its inaugural use was actually for an omelette while I was sick and avoiding sugar, but today they served their true purpose - and what a grand and far easier purpose it was!

Gluten-free Scotch pancakes

  • 240ml potato starch
  • 5ml hemp protein powder
  • 5ml cocoa powder
  • 125ml buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 0.5ml bicarbonate of soda
  • 0.5ml creme of tartar
  • coconut oil (for the pan/griddle)
  • For the variation: coconut flakes and agave syrup

1. Mix the ingredients together very lightly...
really, just enought to get rid of any flour lumps.

2. Oil the non-stick pan lightly and pour the desired
amount of batter into the pan on medium heat.

3. When it bubbles on the top, it is ready for flipping over,
and then it just needs about 30 - 40 seconds depending on the heat.

4. Variation: Once the batter has been poured into the pan,
sprinkle the batter with coconut flakes and drizzle with agave syrup.
Once flipped, watch it carefully else the coconut/agave will burn.

5. Enjoy with the jam/fruit preserve/syrup of your choice.

These aren't the prettiest looking pancakes but they shape well, they're quick to make and they sure do taste nice!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


The Ahern's have their own beautiful, gluten-free recipe book coming out, and it looks gorgeous!

Check-out their post at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef
Pre-order the book at

Thursday, August 05, 2010

It's just not right

There are a lot of fucked up things in this world, and most of the time there is not much you can do about it. Today, I heard something that really grated me.

I was making conversation with an academically brilliant student in my AS Biology class about her plans for varsity next year. She happens to be from Pakistan and, at some point, her equally brilliant sister joined the conversation.

Frame of reference: both sisters are stunningly beautiful, with flawless skin, long hair, big eyes, long eye-lashes to cry for and fantastic outspoken personalities. Both do alarmingly well with an otherwise challenging syllabus, for the most part, across the board in both sciences and humanities.

But here's the crux - it's not going to do them one iota of good.

Their dad is taking them back to Pakistan at the end of the year, and has made it clear that while he will pay for them to graduate tertiary education, they should then expect a short-term future of a job chosen by him for them ONLY until a marriage can be arranged for them; and then a long-term future of tending to their husband and in-laws every need without complaint; babies and housework. Full-stop.

Ambitions be damned, he has shown them a Westernised society in South Africa for the past three years, where girls (for the most part - traditional black culture aside where attitudes about relationships are sometimes equally fucked-up) are allowed to choose love/education/careers that THEY want.

Now, one sister is slightly darker-skinned and (I'm guessing) around a size 12. She is shunned by her aunties as too fat and too dark. Despite her amazing looks, brilliant mind and wonderful sense of humour, she is apparently viewed as common and difficult to marry off. Ironically, she has resigned herself to the fact of what her future holds, marrying whatever man will take her, because of her innate belief that she will be able to make the best of the circumstances.

Her sister, on the other hand, is light-skinned and (again, guessing) around a size 8. She is doted upon by her aunties and is seen as the favourite for whatever she wants. Ironically, she wants none of it. She finds the attitudes of Pakistani men to be deplorable, with their need to control their wives in servitude and their in-laws ruling your every move. She wants more out of life, but doesn't know how to move out from the boundaries of her culture to get it...and it is so sad.

They went on to explain that women who are unmarried in Pakistan very often end up going insane, and that the men (who shun them for not marrying) will then take advantage of them sexually when their faculties fail. Likewise, for those women who cannot stand the abuse from husbands whose demands no longer scare them and end up divorcing, an equally disturbing future lies in wait (in my student's words: "The men demand sex in the marriage, and the women are legally bound to give it. As they age, the women don't give in as much to the men's demands, so the men get frustrated and start hitting the women. If women complain, they are beaten. If they divorce, only the women are shunned by their communities AND their families. The men are free to remarry.")

Excuse me but WHAT THE FUCK?!

At this point in the conversation, looking at these two talented, beautiful young women standing in front of me that have so much potential to do whatever they want, I promptly burst out crying (granted, I would usually get angry on their behalf, but I'm feeling sick so instead I cry).
The one sister gave me a hug, the other apologised for making me cry.
I looked at her with disbelief and said: "I'm the one who is sorry...that those are the futures you've been given to look forward to despite wanting more out of your lives".

So I did the only thing I could when faced with such a phenomenal cultural divide: told the sister resigned to marry that I'd pray she'd end up with a GOOD man for a husband, and encouraged the outraged sister to seek out full scholarships/ sponsorship by applying to universities BEFORE leaving South Africa.

At the end of the day, you can't fight a culture or their deeply held beliefs (which is why wars started on ideals wishing to change these things rarely succeed). Instead, it has to be an insurrection from within the culture, which stems the tide of change.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010